Life Extension for Challenger 2
BAE Systems and Rheinmetall Land Systeme GmbH have won Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts for the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project. As the British Army’s Main Battle Tank, it is crucial to keep Challenger 2 up to date with technological advances.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
Modernising the British Army’s Main Battle Tank under the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project involves partnerships across Defence exploring innovative solutions.
Backed by a rising Defence budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, these tanks, just like the brand new Ajax armoured vehicle, are crucial to the British Army.
The agreements are worth £23 million each and signal the start of the competitive Assessment Phase. The total value of the Challenger 2 Assessment Phase is £53 million. This includes both £23 million Assessment Phase contracts and a further £7 million to cover additional work.
In service since 1998, to remain effective the Challenger 2 must take advantage of recent developments in electronics, computing and sight optics to maintain its role and deliver modern ground manoeuvre fighting capability as part of Joint Force 2025, up to its shelf date of 2035.
BAE Systems and Rheinmetall will now undertake technical studies, produce detailed digital models and consider how upgrades will be integrated into the current platform.
At the end of the Assessment Phase the companies will present their solutions to the MOD for consideration. The Demonstration and Manufacture Phases of the project will follow.
Chief of Materiel (Land) for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, said:
Challenger 2 is an excellent Main Battle Tank with an impressive operational track record.
The Challenger 2 Life Extension Project will upgrade the vehicle with the latest technology to make it available for operations out to 2035.
Photo: A Challenger 2 MBT firing as part of the Royal Welsh Battle Group during Exercise Prairie Lightning by Sgt Mark Webster RLC (Crown Copyright).